What: All Issues : Labor Rights : General Union Rights : (H.R. 1) On an amendment that would have prohibited federal funds from being used for “project labor agreements”—collective bargaining agreements between labor organizations and contractors which establish the terms of employment for construction projects.
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(H.R. 1) On an amendment that would have prohibited federal funds from being used for “project labor agreements”—collective bargaining agreements between labor organizations and contractors which establish the terms of employment for construction projects.
house Roll Call 126     Feb 18, 2011
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH) that would have prohibited federal funds from being used for “project labor agreements” or PLAs—collective bargaining agreements between labor organizations and contractors which establish the terms of employment for construction projects. This amendment was offered to a continuing resolution funding the federal government through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.

Guinta urged support for his amendment: “My amendment simply states no government money can be used to pay for any project that requires a PLA. This solves a significant problem. This is not against our unions. It is about providing equal footing between union and nonunion contractors. Considering the massive debt and deficit we are now struggling under, I feel we can't afford at this point to waste more taxpayer dollars. My goal here is to get more effective and efficient government. This amendment creates a level playing field that encourages fair and open competition for federal construction contracts funded by this bill.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro opposed the amendment: “The amendment is nothing more than another example of a union-busting Republican agenda. Project labor agreements contribute to the economy and efficiency of federal construction projects, help keep them on time and on budget. They bring all the contractors and subcontractors to agree to a standard set of conditions from the beginning of the project. And despite all the rhetoric on the other side that PLAs increase the cost of construction projects, there is no evidence for that….PLAs are nothing new. They have been used on some of the most famous consequential construction projects in our history: the Hoover dam bypass bridge and the projects under the Tennessee Valley Authority just to name a few.”

The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 210-210. (Under House rules, amendments must receive the support of a majority of members in order to pass. Thus, in the event of a tie vote, the amendment fails.) 210 Republicans voted “nay.” All 184 Democrats present and 26 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have prohibited funds provided by a continuing resolution from being used for project labor agreements.

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